Public defender says Megan Huntsman is 'fine'

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Megan Huntsman was in court Monday morning to answer for the six murder charges the State of Utah filed against her.

The defendant waived her right to enter a plea until a formal hearing.

Huntsman showed up in court in her green top and orange pants, cuffed and shackled.

Earlier this month, police found the remains of 7 babies in a Pleasant Grove home, bagged and tucked away in cardboard boxes. The 7th baby is believed to be still born.

Jeff Buhman with the State of Utah Prosecutor Office says, "The cause of death is a combination of the autopsy and statements that Miss Huntsman has made to the police."

Huntsman initially admitted to police that she strangled or suffocated the children moments after each child was born. She told police gave birth to the children from 1996-2006.

"Some of the evidence is from her. A lot of it we have to collaborate," says Buhman.

Huntsman's estranged ex-husband was the person who found the small bodies.

"He has been very cooperative. We have had at length discussions with Mr. West. He is not a suspect," said Buhman.

Along with getting the initial reports from the medical examiner, authorities are looking to the FBI and anthropologist for information.

"We have asked the FBI for some assistance in processing this DNA. We do not have a time frame for them," said Det. Dan Beckstrom with Pleasant Grove Police. "We are still waiting for time lines and responses from the FBI. And of course we haven't heard back a final report the medical examiner or the anthropologist or be able to coordinate that with he FBI."

"We should be able to get the gender on most of the babies with the DNA," said Buhman.

"In between now and that date we will be waiting for the state to provide discovery and police reports... the evidence they have against Megan and we will be reviewing that with her," said attorney Doug Thompson with the Public Defenders Office.

In the mean time, Huntsman sits in a Utah County Jail.  

"She remains on suicide watch, or full observation percautions against suicidal ideation," says Chief Deputy Darin Durfey of the Utah County Sheriffs Office.

Public Defender Doug Thompson had a different opinion. When asked what is Huntsman's state of mind the public defender said, "she seems fine."

If convicted of the six murder charges Huntsman can face 5-years to life.

Huntsman appears back in court on May 19th at 8:30 a.m. in front of Judge Darold McDade.

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